Sunday, April 15, 2018

Philippians Guide to Joy

Philippians life lessons, by Max Lucado.
The following are main points fromfrom chapter.
Philippians 4:8-13
"A healthy, God-honoring lifestyle begins with a healthy, God honoring mind-set.

Worrywarts need peace semicolon those who struggle with greed or envy need to learn the art of contentment.

Mental viruses are known as anxiety, bitterness, anger, guilt, shame, greed, and insecurities. They worm their way into your system and diminish, even disable, your mind. We call these DPT's colon destructive thought patterns.

A lifetime of healthy and holy thoughts would render anyone a joyful genius...

Christ is not a distant creator he is a next door savior.

Meditation is both described and prescribed in Scripture (Joshua 1: 8; Psalms 119:27). At the most basic level, meditation is simply focusing one's mind on a thought or a set of thoughts. It is chewing on an idea like a cow might chew its cud. It is letting our minds marinate in a certain idea. We all do this. Even worrying is a negative form of meditating- it is dwelling on possible bad outcomes. Paul is telling us here that the path to a joy-filled life of contentment and peace is by learning to meditate on what God says is true."

Monday, March 12, 2018

Spiritual Growth

When we accept Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit lives within us and begins the process of making us more like Him. This is Spiritual growth.

2 Peter 1:3-8
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This verse is telling us that with God's power we have everything we need to live lives of godliness, which is the goal of spiritual growth. What we need comes through our knowledge of Him. This knowledge of Him comes from the Bible.

Galatians 5:19-23
Acts of the flesh that identified our lives before we came to Christ:
"The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God." We need to confess and repent these acts and God will help us overcome them. As we experience spiritual growth, fewer and fewer of these acts of the flesh will be evident in our lives.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."As spiritual growth occurs, the fruit of the Spirit becomes increasingly evident in our lives. The Holy Spirit dwells within us as salvation takes place. The old, sinful nature begins to give way to the new, Christlike nature. Spiritual growth is a lifelong process that depends on our study and application of God's Word.

We should pray for God to increase our faith and knowledge of Him.

John 14:16-17
2 Corinthians 6-7
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Galatians 5: 16-26

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Turning Conversations to Christ

I recently read an article by Rebecca Manley Pippert about how to turn conversations to Christ. Her answer was amazingly simple and powerful. It's simply to ask good questions!

In a recent Bible Study, we learned about how many questions Jesus asks in the New Testament. I've forgotten the exact number, but the main idea was that Jesus asked questions and told stories. Just Google "Jesus teaching with questions" and you will come up with some wonderful articles. In one of those articles  Eric von Atzigen compiled a list of 135 Jesus questions.

People often resort to preaching sermons when trying to witness to others. Of course, Jesus was the master communicator and our model for living. So why not ask questions like the Master Teacher? 

Questions are effective because they can be used in a non-threatening way, they often evoke a response which is a brilliant way to communicate and let people know that we are interested in them and want to get to know them.

The Concentric Circle Model is good tool to use when you wish to turn a conversation to Christ. Begin with general interest questions about their family, job or where they're from. Then move to specific interest questions about their area of interest. Next ask issue questions that cause them to reflect on what they believe. Then you can ask a spiritual question.

So instead of busting out with a sermon, spend some time getting to know a person, showing genuine interest establishes a relationship with them. Then you can discuss spiritual matters. I love the question approach and as a teacher who was taught to ask questions while teaching, I can't believe I didn't think of this before!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one.”
John 13: 34-35

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:37-40

Think of all the possible personality traits that we inherit, and then add to that all of our life experiences and how they affect our behavior and our personality and you'll end up with an unfathomable number of combinations to make so many different types of people. Yet Jesus called us to love one another. but more than that to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Think about that and let it really sink in. He said it was the greatest commandment. There are so many different facets to a person. While growing up my Mom told me to pick out the characteristics we like best about a person, and concentrate on those. Just shove the less lovable traits to the back burner. Pretty wise advice wasn't it?  

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Relief From Unbelief

Oh Lord, at times our belief Alters. Please give us relief from our unbelief. Even in the midst of life's struggles, help us to remain steadfast in our belief that Jesus is the resurrection, and the life. Those who believe in Him will live even though they die. And whoever lives by believing in Him will never die. In Jesus name we pray amen.

Book of Hours Raising of Lazarus Walters Manuscript fol. by Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts.
The raising of Lazarus.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Finding I Am by Lysa TerKeurst

  • The first video session as an introduction to the series.
  • Then each week in your personal study time you will study one, or sometimes two, I AM statements
  • And then in the video following your week of study, the author, Lysa, will unpack the I AM statements you just studied that week.

This was an intentional format because Lysa wants us to study the I AM statement for ourselves, dig into Scripture on our own about each one, before she gives us her thought on the subject.

You will have four days of personal study each week with an optional fifth day. That optional fifth day is just that, optional - don't feel like you have to do it. It's only if you want to take the study to the next level.

We will be looking at many passages in the Gospel of Joh, but we won't be stydying the whole book. What the optional fifth day of personal study will do is walk y ou through the entire Gospel of John a few chapters at a time.

Nov. 16 Session 1 Video Intro. and discussion questions on p. 10-11
personal study: read Bread, p. 13-37 for the next session

Nov. 30 Session 2 Video and discussion on Bread p. 38-39
personal study: read Light p. 41-65 for the next session

Dec. 7 Session 3 Video and discussion on Light p 66-67
personal study: read Gate p. 68-99 for the next session

Dec. 14 Christmas Gathering at Trish's house 11:30. Bring a salad or sandwich, drinks and dessert provided. Chinese Gift Exchange - bring a dish towel limit $10.00

Jan. 4 Session 4 Video and discussion on Gate p. 100-101
(Wendy) personal study: read Life p. 102-131 for the next session

Jan. 11 Session 5 Video and discussion on Life p. 132-133
personal study: read Vine p. 134-157

Jan. 18 Session 6 Video and discussion on Vine p. 158-159